News Digest n.6 / 2021
The European Commission has launched an open public consultation on the EU algae initiative. The main goal of this initiative is to increase sustainable production, consumption and the use of algae and algae-based products. This resource can be used for producing food, feed, pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, fertilisers and biofuels. Algae’s potential is recognised in several EU initiatives and in the new circular economy action plan. The public consultation will run until August 2021.
On 9 June, the EC adopted the Communication “Towards more sustainable fishing in the EU: state of play and orientations for 2022”. This document confirms that EU fisheries are moving towards a more sustainable, healthy and environmentally-friendly EU food system, in line with the European Green Deal objectives. Member States, Advisory Councils, industry, non-governmental organisations and interested citizens are invited to take part in the consultation until 31 August to express their points of view on the fishing opportunities for 2022.
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), almost all families of marine organisms in European marine areas are in poor conservation status due to phenomena such as overfishing, pollutants, plastic waste and global warming. On the World Oceans Day, Jutta Paulus, lead Member of the European Parliament in the negotiations between the EC, the EP and the Council of the EU on the Regulation on Maritime Emissions (“MRV Regulation”) stressed the importance for the creation of a marine conservation fund in order to curb the species decline in our oceans and protect biodiversity.
A new report released by Expert Market Research titled “Europe Fish Market Price, Trends Growth, Analysis, Report and Forecast 2021-2026” provides an analysis of the European fish market, assessing the market based on several segments such as product type, distribution channel, sector and major regions. The report also tracks trends in the industry and analyses their impact on the market overall.
A recent report (available in Bulgarian only) on Bulgarian fisheries and aquaculture in the Black Sea, published by the WWF in cooperation with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAN), depicts a worrying picture: mackerel stocks are critically endangered along with sturgeon and herring species. According to scientists, the Black Sea is close to the “red line”: stepping over it would mean that the process of ecosystem degradation could become irreversible. Also, other issues such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are destroying marine habitats and putting fishermen at a disadvantage.
On 2 June, the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries of the EC, Virginijus Sinkevicius, and the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Rt Hon George Eustice reached an agreement on setting out catch limits for jointly managed fish stocks for the remainder of 2021. The agreement establishes the total allowable catches (TACs) for 75 shared fish stocks for 2021, as well as for some deep-sea stocks for 2021 and 2022. This agreement also takes into account important sustainability and management principles, such as maximum sustainable yield and the precautionary approach which are central to both the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and the fisheries provisions of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The EU Commission is proposing a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU for industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. The European Green Deal, along with the Recovery Plan for Europe, will define the future of Europe’s economy. In this sense, the EC and the European Investment Bank Group will increase their cooperation in order to meet existing financing needs to reduce pollution in European seas and support investment for blue innovation and bioeconomy: the new BlueInvest Fund will support this transition.
The DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) has recently adopted “Strategic Guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030” The document is highly complementary to EATiP’s aims and working methodology, including: the creation of a framework for cooperation; fostering development and research across Member States; effective dissemination of research and innovation results to industry-end users; promotion of complementarity and synergies between research projects and facilitating access to EU funds for research and innovation in the aquaculture sector.